Kenya Defence Forces


Kenya Defence Forces

1. Order of battle
2. Overview
3. Defence economics
4. State of military forces
5. Country threat report
6. External deployments

1. Order of Battle

Total force strength Army: 20 000
Air Force: 2 500
Navy: 1 600
Paramilitary: 5 000
Armour 78: Vickers Mk 3
110: T-72 (Numbers unconfirmed)
Reconnaissance 72: AML-60/90
12: Ferret
8: S52 Shorland
3: Saladin
5: Saracen
AIFV 8: BRDM-3 (Another 80 reportedly on order)
24: BTR-60
APC 100: Humvee (4 x 4 wheeled)
8: M-3 Panhard
38: UR-416
32: Type-92A/WZ-551
150: Puma M-26
85: BRM
Self-propelled artillery 30: Nora B-52 152 mm (On order)
25: 2S7 203 mm
Towed artillery 8: Model 56
L5 105 mm
Multiple Rocket Launcher 11: BM-21
Mortar 20: 81 mm
8: Brandt 120 mm
Anti-armour 40: Milan
Rocket launcher 56: Carl Gustav 84 mm
?: RPG-7 Knout 73 mm
Air defence gun 50: TCM-20: 20 mm
11: Oerlikon
70: TCM-20
30: L-70 40 mm
Air defence missile Mistral/ASPIC
Structure 1 armoured brigade (3 armoured battalions)
2 infantry brigades
1 airborne battalion
1 artillery brigade
1 anti-aircraft defence battalion
1 engineer brigade
1 support battalion
1 transport battalion
1 para-commando battalion
Air Force
Combat aircraft 22: F-5E/F Tiger II
Trainer aircraft 10: Bulldog
12: Tucano
8: Hawk
Transport aircraft 5: DHC-5
3: DHC-8
11: Y-12
VIP 1: Fokker 70
Transport helicopter 39: MD 500 (Used in combat support role as well)
3: SA 330 Puma
6: IAR 330
8: Z-9
3: Mi-171E
Patrol/Strike boat (Gun/Missile/OPV/IPV) 1: Harambee P 400 class (ex-La Rieuse)
2: Shupavu class (Patrol)
2: Nyayo class (Missile)
1: Mamba class (Missile)
1: Archangel
5: Defender
Amphibious/Transport/Supply 2: Galana class (Transport/Landing craft)
Scientific (Survey) 1: Jasiri class (Fitted with armaments)
Harbour/River patrol 5: P 101 class
Logistics and support 1: tug

2. Overview
Head of state and government and commander-in-chief of the armed forces: President Uhuru Kenyatta
Secretary for Defence: Raychelle Omamo
Chief of General Staff: General Samson Mwathethe
Commander Kenyan Army: Lieutenant General Leonard Ngondi
Commander Kenyan Navy: Major General Ngewa Mukala
Commander Kenyan Air Force: Major General Samuel Thuita
Member of: UN, Commonwealth, AU, EAC, Seabeds Committee, IAEA, AfDB
3. Defence economics
Defence budget percentage per GDP (2000-2010)

Defence budget per US$ Mil (2000-2011)

Defence budget percentage growth (2000-2011)

4. State of military forces

Kenya’s armed forces are considered to be the most powerful in East and Central Africa. They are highly competent and experienced, as they have fought in neighbouring Somalia and have taken part in numerous peacekeeping operations.

Kenya’s Navy is the best equipped force on the East African coast, benefitting from regular training and assistance from countries like the United States, UK, France and South Africa, something that has proven useful in combating piracy, maritime crime and al Shabaab militants in neighbouring Somalia.

Kenya is one of the top ten defence spenders in Africa, resulting in a well-equipped military force that has received a large amount of new equipment over the last several years, including small arms, aircraft, ships and armoured vehicles.

It has been reported that Kenya has received five Mi-28 attack helicopters from Russia, with another 11 on order, but this cannot be confirmed. Also not confirmed is Kenya’s acceptance of 110 T-72 tanks from the Ukraine, as it is believed that many of these were sent to neighbouring South Sudan in 2010.

Although Kenya’s military has a reputation for being a strong force, it has been accused of human rights abuses, such as against Somali refugees, as well as corruption.

Kenya has a modest local defence industry, but it is expanding its capabilities. For instance, in late 2012 South African company Osprea Logistics announced it was setting up a facility to assemble Mamba Mk 5 armoured personnel carriers in Kenya, and aims to produce 100 in its first year of operation.
5. Country threat report

Threat type Overview
External • Kenya initiated military action against al Qaeda affiliate al Shabaab, crossing into Somalia on October 16, 2011. In response to the Kenyan intervention, al Shabaab and its sympathizers have conducted retaliatory attacks against civilian and government targets in Kenya.
• Incidences of maritime piracy remain a concern on Kenya’s coastline.
• Political tension between Kenya and Uganda concerning the ownership of the Magingo Island remains a concern.
Internal • Violent ethnic clashes regularly occur in the north of the country and have on previous occasions affected the country’s political and security systems.
Regional • Military and political tensions between North and South Sudan may affect Kenya’s foreign security policy.
Political • Kenya is currently considered to be politically stable following successful elections in early 2013
Economic • Kenya’s economy is mainly market-based making the country’s economy highly vulnerable to fluctuations on international markets.

6. External deployments

Operation Country Personnel/assets
Peace enforcement Somalia 4 650 troops
Peacekeeping South Sudan 701 troops


The Permanent Secretary

Ministry of Defence

Ulinzi House

Lenana Road

P O Box 40668


Tel: ++254 2721100

Fax: ++254 2737322

The Chief of Defence Forces

Kenya Defence Forces

Ulinzi House

Lenana Road

P O Box 40668


Tel: ++254 2721100/2712054

Mobile no: ++254 723502413

Tel/Fax no: ++254 2722270

E-Mail: [email protected]